Nadal loses to Del Potro in New York exhibition

New York, Mar 5 (EFE).- Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro defeated Spain's Rafael Nadal 7-6, 6-4 in an exhibition match at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Monday's match was Nadal's first action on a hard court this year and served as a tune-up for the tournament that got underway this week in Indian Wells, California.

The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells will be a "big test," Nadal said in a press conference.

The 26-year-old Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam champion who is on the comeback trail from a knee injury that sidelined him for seven months, played with his left knee wrapped.

The March 4-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is one of the tennis season's nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, which rank only below the four Grand Slam tournaments and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in terms of ranking points and prestige.

Nadal began last summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he went off the ATP Tour following a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.

The Spanish star said in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa's syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and involves pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.